Preview: Sunderland vs. Newcastle United

Preview: Sunderland vs. Newcastle
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Sports Mole looks ahead to the Wear-Tyne derby between Sunderland and Newcastle United at the Stadium of Light.

This Sunday marks the first North-East derby of the season as Sunderland welcome arch-rivals Newcastle United to the Stadium of Light.

Not only is it the first of two explosive derbies in the Premier League campaign, it is the first home match for the Black Cats' new head coach Gus Poyet.

The home side have had a dismal start to the season, having lost their manager Paolo Di Canio after five matches and taking just one point from eight fixtures, leaving them at the bottom of the league table.

Despite beginning a new era under Poyet last weekend, the Black Cats were unable to kick-start a winning run due to a 4-0 defeat to Swansea City.

For Sunderland's rivals, Alan Pardew's men have had an inconsistent term in the league having secured three wins, two defeats and one draw in their last six fixtures, placing them 10th in the table.

The Magpies may also have an eye for revenge following last season's Tyne-Wear derby, which resulted in a 3-0 win for the Black Cats at St James' Park.

Reports have claimed that Newcastle may be unable to call on defender Steven Taylor, which means that Paul Dummett may start at the Stadium of Light, while Jozy Altidore and Steven Fletcher could start in attack for Sunderland.

Recent form

Sunderland: LLLLLL

Newcastle United: WWLLWD

Possible starting lineups

Sunderland: Westwood; Colback, Cuellar, O'Shea, Celutska; Johnson, Cattermole, Gardner, Giaccherini; Altidore, Fletcher

Newcastle United: Krul; Dummett, Williamson, Santon, Debuchy; Gouffran, Tiote, Cabaye, Sissoko, Ben Arfa; Remy

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew looks on as his side go 2-0 down to Man City on August 19, 2013
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